Snoop Dogg loves Belarus — or so his latest collection of T-shirts and accessories proclaims.
The rapper posted a snapshot of a backpack on his Instagram account to launch the range, which features T-shirts, iPhone cases, and laptop covers all adorned with traditional Belarussian embroidery patterns.
His online store even advertises the fact, with the designs captioned "Snoop Loves Belarus."
And he's made some people happy. Instagram user the_indigochild said: "Hi Snoop! I doubt you will notice my post, but I just wanted to thank you for this ... I'm from Belarus and I'm so happy to see my country being acknowledged by such iconic person like you! Belarus Loves Snoop," adding the hashtag #proud. ❤️❤️
The collection was designed by a group of street artists from the city of Vitebsk, known as Hoodgraff, who said Snoop Dogg first made contact in 2013.
"He has been following our work as street artists for a long time," said HoodGraff member Anton, known as Boorj. This summer the rapper asked Boorj and his team to come up with designs for a Belarussian collection.
"He likes ornaments and patterns a lot and he was very surprised that Belarus has such unusual ornaments," says Anton. "He had never seen anything like it. He said, 'Let's do it,' and that's how it started."
The pro-democracy Belarussian news site Charter 97 said the rapper had successfully tapped into the zeitgeist. "Today, going back to one's Belarussian roots is gaining popularity. It is becoming really trendy to wear T-shirts with ancient folk patterns, to speak Belarusian," the site said.
But its unclear whether the Snoop Loves Belarus range is intended as an endorsement of the country's authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, who doesn't appear to share the rapper's fondness for HoodGraff.
The artists moved to Russia earlier this year after being fined $1,700 for trying to paint a mural of the internationally acclaimed Belarussian writer Vasil Bykov at a street-art festival in Minsk. The late Bykov was a vocal critic of Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994.
The origins of Snoop Dogg's interest in Belarus remain a mystery.